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Laurie Luke & The Renegades

Laurie Luke has (finally) released Way Back When, an EP that has been a labour of love for the singer/songwriter and one that tells many stories about the ups and downs of his life.

“It feels great to finally release the record,” he says. “I wanted to push myself musically and expand my sound into new directions with what was available to me at the time, and I feel I have achieved that.

“I’ve recorded an incredible amount of material over the years, but this is my first official release, and I’m glad it’s such a broad record. It sets up future releases to have no boundaries or limitations when it comes to genre or style, and that has always been important to me when it comes to music. This record also closes a chapter in my life while opening doors to the next.”

There’s songs of experience and loss, but the first single, Rainbow Bomb, originated from a painting by Luke’s son, as did the title. It perhaps differs from the other songs as a result…

Rainbow Bomb definitely holds a special significance for me,” he says. “I have the painting hanging up in my kitchen. The biggest thing that blew me away was the title for the painting, I asked my son if it was okay to use for a song I had been working on but couldn’t quite finish. It helped me focus and bring the song to completion.

“Being such an open record allows it to sit and holds its own space. I wanted each song to have its own flavour and vibe while retaining a cohesiveness. The vocal and guitar act as a compass to guide the listener through the journey. They act as a reference point when transitioning through different musical terrain.”

The track, Concrete Jungleland, features Luke’s old friend Lucius Borich of Cog, whose drums have lasted quite the distance in the song’s journey.

“Concrete Jungleland has a long history,” he reveals. “On one of many records I’ve made and never released, was an album on which Lucius plays five or six songs. The record was completed, mixed, mastered and basically put in the vault. Years later I was listening to it, and as I’m inclined to do so from time to time, I erased all the music and rewrote a completely new song with the original drums.

“If you listened to both songs back to back I doubt you would realise that the drums and song structure are the same, they are such completely different sounding pieces of music. I’m a huge Cog fan, and it was such a surreal experience to sit in a studio and watch one of the best drummers in the world play with such conviction and passion to my music.

“The other unreleased songs I will get around to reworking at some point because the drumming is phenomenal, there are some incredible moments that would blow people away. Another one might pop up on the next record.”

The EP has been preceded by the release of a second single, Seventeen, a reminiscence ‘about younger days, the good and the bad all rolled into one stolen joyride. I wanted the listener to feel like they’re in the car driving around, with me showing them around’. There’s set to be plenty of time spent behind the wheel…

“First up, we’re hitting the road for a South West tour and hopefully the rest of Australia at some point this year,” Luke says. “I have the music for the next couple of releases ready to go, so it’s just a matter of recording it. The main goal this year, though, is to play live as much as possible.

“I have an incredible band called The Renegades and it is a high energy, loud, raw, rock-roll experience. I’ve played with these guys on and off for a long time now and we have the telepathy down, so we can improvise and really push the live show to some really cool places.”

Laurie Luke performs at the White Star, Albany, on February 2, and launches Way Back When on February 15 at the Indian Ocean Hotel.

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